Natural value

It turns out putting a price tag on nature can be a good thing.

Supported by an HCF grant, communities that intersect the greenbelt are getting the tools and training they need to think of their natural assets as essential infrastructure. As a result, they will be able to value nature’s contributions to clean water, breathable air, healthy soil, sustainable food, flood reduction and climate stability, and include this accounting in provincially mandated municipal plans.

Hamilton is one of 10 municipalities with near-urban nature — defined as the natural areas and farmlands that surround and intersect our cities — that will complete natural asset inventories as part of the program. These inventories will list the community’s natural assets, assign a value to the services these assets provide, and model the costs and benefits of natural solutions compared to alternatives.

The ultimate goal is to protect and restore the greenbelt’s natural integrity.

Excerpt from 2021 Fall Legacy newsletter